2021 was a restless, unsettled year for me. The pandemic jerked along with more spikes than valleys. We traveled only safe, small circles around our home, never making it more than two hundred fifty miles. Our home, now pushing eleven years old no longer felt new; the appliances faltered, the paint chipped, the floors scuffed. Even my music went stale. I abandoned my thoughtfully created hours-long Pandemic playlist months ago. A certain famous woman had release after release, but I’ve never been a fan. I started to imagine the music I needed to hear: Indian artists blending traditional and modern sounds. Not Bhangra, not Bollywood, but contemporary musicians influenced by the Indian classical music I grew up listening to and craved now. I tried to narrow that into a Google search. I couldn’t figure out the right terms and nothing useful came up.

A few months ago after work, I sat in my car, searching my phone for new music. I pressed the browse button on my music app and scrolled through the categories. I was shocked to come across one called “Indian Indie.” Yes! That’s what I was looking for! In the dim parking garage I clicked on it and found playlists. They became my new drive music. As I listened I remembered sitting in a taxi in India.

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